Consumer Finance Bureau Needs Better Bookkeeping, Says GAO
Erroneous recording of $4.2 million in transactions risks skewing financial statements.
In its first two years of existence, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed ineffective accounting procedures, resulting in a $4.2 million understatement of accounts payable, assets and expenses, a watchdog concluded.
In its audit of CFPB’s fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 internal finances, the Government Accountability Office found “multiple instances” in which the bureau’s contracting officer representatives and Office of the Chief Financial Officer “did not properly identify and estimate amounts that should be reported as accounts payable.”
The bureau did have policies and procedures in place for tracking purchases of property, software and services, auditors noted, but auditors identified, for example, seven invoices for equipment and services in fiscal 2013 for which the contracting officers did not report accruals.
Some of the errors were due to “a lack of coordination” between the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the Office of Procurement and other units, auditors determined.
GAO made four recommendations for the consumer finance bureau, centering on requiring its chief financial officer develop guidance for the training of contracting officers on estimating accruals as well as requiring the CFO to design and implement controls that enforce coordination between the various offices and review documentation quarterly.
The CFPB did not respond to a draft of the audit before publication.
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